ACC underfunding 'hurting' Fishrot accused

The Fishrot accused, through their lawyers, launched a scathing attack on the underfunding of ACC, saying it has no financial capacity to handle an investigation the size of the international bribery scandal.

10 July 2020 | Justice



Richard Metcalfe, defence lawyer for former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, yesterday turned Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) testimony on its head, saying the commission has no funds to carry out a proper investigation, and that his clients are suffering as a consequence.

Metcalfe's pointed attack came as Namibian Sun revealed recently that the ACC said it would commit the bulk of the N$61 million allocated to it from this year's national budget to Fishrot investigations, which has become an international probe. Only N$2 million is available for forensic investigations for ACC, Namibian Sun had established. It was recently revealed that investigations are being conducted in several African countries, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Investigations are also ongoing in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe as well as Spain, Iceland, Cyprus, Dubai, Sweden and Norway.

More arrests

More arrests are expected in Angola and Iceland, State advocate Ed Marondedze said recently during the bail proceedings of others accused in the saga, when the Fishrot accused appeared to determine the progress of the investigations.

Metcalfe said yesterday during the continuation of Esau and Hatuikulipi's bail application in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court that it is unacceptable that eight months after his clients' arrest, ACC has failed to confiscate their travel documents.

Esau and Hatuikulipi's bail has been opposed on grounds of them being flight risks.

Kawana, Iivula-Ithana drawn in

Metcalfe also wanted to know from the ACC why then attorney-general Albert Kawana and justice minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, who endorsed then Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC) chair Sacky Shanghala's plan to reform the Marine Resources Act of 2000, were not arrested in this regard.

ACC senior investigation Willem Olivier, a State witness in the matter, confirmed that Kawana and Iivula-Ithana were copied in the correspondence as well as Toucy Namiseb, who was the then chief of law reform.

“So, it seems as if even more persons were included. According to your theory, these people must also be noted in this grand scheme,” said Metcalfe.

However, according to him, the change of legislation was not done with the intention to commit fraud as is claimed by the ACC, but in fact to include more Namibians in the fishing sector.

Metcalfe further told Olivier that the problem in this investigation is that Olivier has no knowledge of how the fishing industry works, or its regulations.


He added that because Namibian fishing right holders did not have the required financial and technical capacity to catch their quotas, foreign investors came in to form joint ventures.

It is through these joint ventures, Metcalfe explained, that Tamson Hatuikulipi made such considerable income.

“There was great commercial incentive for someone who arranged these kinds of joint ventures. “There are such agreements in your files between Tamson Hatuikulipi and various entities of Icelandic Seafood giant Samherji,” Metcalfe said.

According to Olivier, these agreements were recorded by ACC as dummy agreements to facilitate payments.

Metcalfe informed Olivier that Tamson had negotiated several joint ventures between Namibian right holders and foreign companies, and in the process roped in his cousin James, who knew a lot of people in some of these companies because of his extensive involvement in the commercial sector.

This, according to Metcalfe, is why the Samherji group in 2012 asked Tamson to receive their new fishing vessel the Heinaste in Namibia.

ACC stands firm

“Whatever amount we receive, we shall give priority to the Fishrot case,” ACC spokesperson Josefina Nghituwamata told Namibian Sun recently.

“We know it is a challenge; however, as an institution, we have to do as much as we can with the little resources at our disposal.”

The ACC has been allocated only N$61 million for this financial year, compared to N$60.7 million in 2019/20, despite the multiple heavyweight investigations on its books, including the multibillion-dollar Fishrot case.

ACC director-general Paulus Noa recently said they would have to put on hold 17 high-profile cases because, once running expenses were taken into account, it would only be left with N$2 million for investigations.

[email protected]

Similar News


Fishrot's De Klerk washes dirty laundry

1 week ago - 07 August 2020 | Justice

RONELLE RADEMEYER WINDHOEK Marén de Klerk, the lawyer who left Namibia amid allegations that millions of dollars from the Fishrot bribery scandal had passed...

Boy accused of murder granted bail

1 week ago - 07 August 2020 | Justice

NAMPAGOBABISA 14-year-old boy who allegedly stabbed an 18-year-old to death at the Kanaan A informal settlement in Gobabis this past Saturday has been granted bail...

Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo's bail appeal denied

2 weeks ago - 30 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo has been denied bail yet again after his appeal to the High Court was rejected.In his second bail bid, Gustavo...

'I will finish what I started'

3 weeks ago - 24 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK Johannes Stefansson, the Icelandic national who lifted the veil on the corruption in Namibia's fishing industry, has told Namibian Sun he will...

Fishrot a daylight robbery, says court

3 weeks ago - 23 July 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKWindhoek magistrate Duard Kesslau yesterday described evidence presented before him during the bail hearing of Fishrot accused Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson...

Esau and Fitty: ACC has nothing on us

3 weeks ago - 22 July 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK It is not in the interest of justice to keep former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau or his son-in-law...

'Taxa' wants fresh magistrate

3 weeks ago - 21 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKFishrot accused Pius Mwatelulo has launched a bail application in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, and has asked that magistrates who presided in other...

Gustavo adds properties to new bail offer

3 weeks ago - 20 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFormer Investec Namibia business manager Ricardo Gustavo has offered two of his properties to his N$100 000 bail offer in a fresh bid heard...

Ruling on Namandje's books postponed to August

4 weeks ago - 16 July 2020 | Justice

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKJudgment in the court case between lawyer Sisa Namandje and the Law Society of Namibia (LSN), which was due to be delivered tomorrow, has...

Ruling on Namandje’s financial books postponed to August

4 weeks ago - 15 July 2020 | Justice

Staff ReporterWindhoekJudgement in the court matter between lawyer Sisa Namandje and the Law Society of Namibia, which was due to be delivered on Friday, has...

Latest News

Thought leadership

18 hours ago | People

NDANGI KATOMAIn a very short time, the coronavirus has changed so much about our lives.It is easy to think you’ll never get ahead when you...

Marketing through the lens of...

18 hours ago | People

ESTER KAMATIAs part of the DOLOLO group of entrepreneurs and a 2019 alumnus of the Africa Pathfinders Leadership initiative, Andreas Elifas’s objective is to attain...

Price monster hungry

18 hours ago | Economics

Although annual overall inflation in Namibia last month stayed unchanged at 2.1%, annual overall food inflation increased to 6.2% - up from 4.9% in June...

Tough times for mines in...

18 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Of the 16 operating mining companies included in the latest annual review of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, six last year...

Fishing quota auction storm grows

18 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment's decision to auction off its fishing quota, and then use the proceeds to finance its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing...

Samherji begs for release of...

18 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKIcelandic firm Samherji, which is at the centre of the Fishrot bribery scandal, has asked Namibian authorities to release its fishing vessel Heinaste, which...

Education kneecapped by shortage of...

18 hours ago | Education

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUEducation minister Anna Nghipondoka says Namibia has a backlog of over 5 000 classrooms, which has made it a challenge to comply with the...

Growing hip-hop in the north

18 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKSkipper Wills' breakthrough came in 2017 when he was selected to take part in the Old & New hip-hop documentary. He has since...

Kay-Z Bearens on his 2020...

18 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Rapper Kay-Z Bearens released his first single in 2015, and though on the underground scene, he's pushed his music over the years.In...

Load More